RFP: Diary of an institutional salesman, part 35

In the penultimate episode of our RFP diary series, we find out WTF will WTF do next?
RFP: Diary of an institutional salesman, part 35

After the farce of having to interview for my own job, I’ve now reached something of an impasse with my employers, Swiss Heritage Asset Management.

They don’t like me, probably because I was so successful when competing against them for Integrity, pre-takeover. The feeling’s more than mutual, pals. William T Fitzgerald doesn’t go for demotions disguised by fancy, vapid titles.

“Head of Diamond Account Management” my ass. A made-up title for a made-up position. An insult to an ace rainmaker like me, dear diary. Even the drones in HR can smell the bull: they feel sufficiently sorry for me to have leaked my name and phone number to every headhunter east of Suez. I’m certainly getting plenty of calls…or at least requests to add me to their LinkedIn page.

I’m not sure at what point Kim, now head of sales, lost faith in me. I brought in a few big tickets, I got our European convertibles strategy rated a ‘1’ by the consultants, I was the go-to guy in the office for all sales and marketing issues, and everybody loved my unofficial version of AsianInvestor’s ‘Top 25 Women in Asset Management’ – not a huge amount of overlap with the original, I gotta tell you.

Jump before you get pushed. Kill or be killed. Yours truly has racked up 5.75 years in institutional sales – of which 2.5 are in Asia – plus 3.5 years writing RFPs and 1.5 years on the consultant-relations desk. After all of that, the next step is the big kahuna, the role that leads me to becoming Chief Executive Officer Fitzgerald by the time I’m 45.

Baby, I got options.

Join the Borg
The ETF market is going to grow and grow forever, regardless of how many double-dips, sovereign crises, Lehman bankruptcies, and debt ceiling conversations there are. And look at all the people they have hired already – that’s an army being assembled there, and maybe it’s best to be on their side!

Be an entrepreneur
And set up my own third-party marketing/distribution business. I’m not just a pretty face. I can spot the next big thing. Remember the Alchemy ETF? That sucker would essentially sell itself in this market!

This town ain’t big enough for both of us
I could go somewhere else, but Asia’s where the growth is, and where I’ve planted my flag. Singapore? Snore. Save it for when I’m married and raising little Lee Kwan Yews with the future ex-Mrs Fitzgerald. But I’m not so young and single that I’m prepared to slum it in Southeast Asia. That’s not where the CEO jobs are. So I guess Hong Kong it is.

Go lateral
Same job, different firm? Plenty of competitors would salivate at the thought of signing me on instead of eating my dust. And look at all of these LinkedIn requests from headhunters!

How hard can it be? Tell the pension board to stick to 60/40 stocks and bonds, and just pick last year’s best-performing manager for each bucket.

Get a real job
By leaving finance. But who in finance has the intellectual, emotional or technical qualification to do anything beyond the ecosystem?

Fourth estate
Well, dear diary, I’ve certainly disclosed to you the true inner workings of asset management in Asia. Why not get paid to do this stuff? I bet financial reporters pretty much spend their time shooting the breeze with guys like me over drinks, roll out of bed around 11am, shoot off a quick recap and spend the rest of the day reading magazines at the FCC. [Yep, that’s about right –Ed.] Imagine what a pro like me could do as star reporter at one of the rags?

One thing I can tell you, dear diary – William T Fitzgerald’s future is not with those double-crossing bastards at Swiss Heritage. And they’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.

William T. Fitzgerald is a fictional character, as are all the other individuals and companies in “RFP Diary”. Any resemblance to the living or to real firms is purely coincidental. Will’s adventures conclude in Part 36 of "RFP: Diary of an institutional salesman".

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